Salt-baked sea bass

Salt-baked sea bass

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

In its shroud of salt, this fish may look odd, but it tastes off the scale! You can do it with whatever fish you please – just make sure you use good-quality sea salt. As I bought my sea bass from the market in Marseille, straight off the boat, I just had to use the Camargue salt that’s so famous in southern France.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2kg sea bass, scaled, gutted and head removed
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 cut into wedges
small bunch dill, chopped, (retain the stalks)
6 egg whites
1kg sea salt
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons dried herbes de provence
lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rinse and dry the sea bass and lay it flat on a board. Pop the slices of lemon and dill stalks in the cavity of the fish.
  2. Place the egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl and whisk until nearly at soft-peak stage, then gently fold in the salt, chopped dill, pink peppercorns and herbes de Provence.
  3. Spread a third of the egg white mixture onto a baking tray, keeping it roughly the same shape, but a little larger than, the fish. Place the fish on top, then spread the remaining egg white mixture all over the fish so it is totally covered. Bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes.
  4. Remove the fish from the oven and leave to cool slightly before cracking and discarding the crust. Peel back the skin of the sea bass and lift the flesh from the fish, leaving the bones behind. Place on serving plates and serve with lemon wedges.
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